Agnostic views & images I like

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Posts Tagged ‘Astronomy

What Earth’s journey through space means to us, homo sapiens!

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Comparison of the current-day Sun and the Sun ...
Image via Wikipedia

Olivia Judson often offers thoughts that are based on science and common sense. Here’s one from her science essay in today’s NY Times:

A pedant has pointed out that our journey ’round the sun is only seemingly endless, and that we’ve only got another four or five billion years to go before the sun turns into a red giant and engulfs us. He’s right; but a few billion years is so long that it feels endless to me.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/12/30 at 10:37

More thoughts about the cosmos and God of the Bible, the first cause

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I do believe that I, my body, my mind, my consciousness, am just a collection of atoms at some microscopic level. The Orion Nebula is just a collection of atoms also.

Isn’t it a wonderous mystery why and how the Orion Nebula looks so beautiful from this Hubble (macrocospic) view and looks so different than I do. I sit here and look at this picture that’s made its way to my computer screen with a truly extraordinary deployment of engineering ingenuity and hardware and feel baffled by the whole thing.

If you look carefully at the nebula‘s image I’m sure you will see some strangely human outlines in the coagulation of stardust. Again it’s baffling.

It’s tempting to think that God is behind all this and laughing at me and my idle speculations here. Or what I see is just an interesting and momentary collection of atoms delivered to my eye and brain to give me pleasure and some thing to speculate about.

The Omega Nebula, an example of an emission ne...
Image via Wikipedia
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/04/09 at 21:38

Astronomy, your mind and mine!

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The Milky Way
Image by makelessnoise via Flickr

Changes are what it’s mostly about these days in DC and in astronomy. Check this editorial out at NY Times!

Here’s an excerpt:

This is one of the wonderful things about astronomy. Our understanding of the galaxy around us undergoes a significant shift, and the only real change is the new terrain that opens up inside our heads. We don’t experience a physical lurch, because we’re traveling exactly as fast around the center of the Milky Way as we always were. The lurch we experience is our minds catching up to our actual physical speed. We are so exquisitely attuned to our celestial motions that we seem, to ourselves, to be standing still, no matter how our understanding of the universe changes.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/01/07 at 07:57

New Scientist offers images that visualize the immense

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Out of six images I picked this one since it looked more comprehensible and related to an immense object we know well, Planet Earth!

Gallery - How to visualise the immense - Image 4 - New Scientist.jpg

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/12/03 at 04:08

Do you care that the Universe is expanding?

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{{Potd/2007-08-12 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia

Whenever I read about what astronomers do, I feel puzzled. My puzzlement is caused by the stories told about methods used in the quest to measure the size of the Universe and the rate at which billions of galaxies in the Universe are moving away from each other and from our galaxy and therefore our planetary system.

The latest article by Dennis Overbye, a talented science writer, in the NY Times this morning tells the story of the latest happenings in this seemingly never ending quest for better precision. The notion of exact science doesn’t seem to fit this quest, which boils down to reducing the % of error in results.

There are several links below that offer more information about the Universe and efforts to understand it better. If you want to investigate weird click on the last link to the master explainer of cosmological things, Sean Carroll, the cosmologist.

IMHO one of the very neat things about astronomy is the dazzling photography connected with it.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/08/19 at 06:56